Dubai students, schools save Dh90 million in Dewa bills

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Dubai students, schools save Dh90 million in Dewa bills

Competing for the Conservation Award of the emirate, educational institutions, students and faculty members saved 125GWh in electricity and 1.024 billion gallons of water.

By Sajila Saseendran – Senior Reporter

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Published: Fri 22 May 2015, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:39 PM

Students from Our Own High School, Al Warqa, receive medals from Ahmad Al Mansouri, Abdulla Al Karam, Mohammed Al Tayer and Amal Koshak, senior manager - marketing and communications, Dewa, during the 10th conservation awards held in Dubai on Wednesday. — KT photo by ShihabDubai — From tiny tots in nurseries to teenagers in colleges, young students in Dubai helped save power and water worth a whopping Dh90 million over the last decade.

Competing for the Conservation Award of the emirate, educational institutions, students and faculty members saved 125GWh in electricity and 1.024 billion gallons of water since the inception of the awards in 2005.

“This contributed to reducing nearly 67,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, with financial savings worth Dh90 million,” MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, said at the award ceremony on Wednesday.

Organised by Dewa in cooperation with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and Dubai Educational Zone (DEZ), the award this year contributed to saving 12 million kW in electricity and 102 million gallons of water.

This reduced nearly 5,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, and contributed to savings of Dh10 million.

Spreading the message

Five students from Our Own High School, Al Warqa, who, along with their teacher Sini Haridasan, won the award for outstanding conservation team efforts in high school level, told Khaleej Times how they walked the extra mile to take the message of conservation to students and a wider spectrum of society.

“We went around doing a lot of workshops and awareness campaigns on conservation of water and electricity,” said M.N. Vivekanandan of grade 10.

The students visited labour camps, schools and many other places to conduct awareness programmes.  “We even created awareness through social media. We made a video which shows different methods of conserving water, and posted it on Facebook and Twitter. We held many presentations and lectures also,” said Dewa Bhelwin of grade 9.

Vijay Vivekanandan of grade 11 said “turn-it-off monitors” responsible for switching off the lights whenever students leave classrooms played a major role in saving power.

Other team members from grade 7 and 8, Sundaresh Sundar Gopal and Navaneeth Krishnan, said while quizzes and games with prizes encouraged students, switching off the lights during morning hours and using only alternate lights when needed helped reduced the power bills.

Culture of conservation

Haridasan said the participation in the award helped bring in a culture of conservation among the students who also took the message home. The families of students Jesil Shaiju Anthony and Abdullah Mohammed Rahil were honoured with first and third places respectively for doing their bit to reduce the energy consumption at homes.

Narinder Kaur, headmistress for co-scholastic activities in the Delhi Private School that won the first place for facility management in high schools, said students are trained from KG1 to grade 12 to turn off lights and appliances not in use without the need to be told. “We’ll use the Dh10,000 prize for enhancing the facilities for conservation in school and for better awareness among the children.”

Al Tayer, Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the KHDA, and Dr. Ahmad Eid Al Mansouri, Director of DEZ, presented the awards.

“The tremendous savings achieved this year are a great indication of the passion and of the sense of responsibility that students and educational institutes have towards the community and future generations,” said Al Karam.

Sultan Al Za’abi, project manager, Conservation-Outreach and Engagement at Dewa, said this would enable schools to conduct consistent and comprehensive programmes for conservation.

The winners included 18 educational institutions. Six best conservation teams at various levels of education, and three winners of the Home Consumers category were also honoured. Early supporters of the award 10 years ago and schools that won the award for more than three times were also appreciated at the event.

Video by Sajila Saseendran

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